Thursday, February 3, 2011

SAR #11034

The difference between the US and Egypt is hope and change.

Progress:  WikiLeaks has been nominated for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for being “one of the most important contributors to freedom of speech in the 21st century..” It would offset Obama's 2009 award for peace through war.

Summary:  Stocks up, houses down.

Good Question, Better Idea:  “If we’re forced back to square one by the Supreme Court, why not get it right?” Let's do real reform and go directly to a universal single payer system – Medicare for all!

Slight of Hand:  In his SOU address, Obama said we need to revamp our education policy. But until we manage to revamp the student's parents no amount of policy change will matter in the least. Obama also said something about producing 80% of our electricity “cleanly” and then cited natural gas and clean coal. There is no such thing as clean coal. Even if it worked, capturing and sequestering CO2 doesn’t make coal clean; it just makes it more expensive. And while natural gas certainly burns cleaner than coal, it still burns, still emits CO2.

Magical Mystery Tour:  Fed Ex CEO Fredric Smith bemoans US dependence on foreign oil and the continued spewing of CO2 into the atmosphere. So he wants to power his 670 aircraft and 70,000 vehicles with electricity. Flying electric planes will be a trick, and switching to electric vehicles only changes where the CO2 enters the atmosphere from tailpipes to smokestacks.

Short Form:  The average US credit card rate is 14.72%. The banks borrow money from the Fed at 0.25%. No wonder they can pay those bonuses.

Pop Pop, Fizz Fizz:  Since 2000, about 16 million tons of CO2 has been pumped into an aging oilfield to both force the remaining oil out and to 'safely' store the CO2. A farmer whose land is atop this reservoir reports that ponds on his farm are now carbonated, that animals die adjacent to the bubbling cauldron and that groundwater foams to the surface like shaken soda pop. The operator, Cenovus, tells the farmer he should believe their scientists who say it is perfectly safe, and not his lying eyes.

House Rules:  In the last two years, major Las Vegas hotel/casinos have lost $6.6 billion betting on the customer.

Misallocation of Resources:  The reason poor people think runaway inflation is already here is because they spend too much of their income on eating and heating their houses and not enough on entertainment and electronics and new cars.

Sure Bet:  The IMF predicts that widening income inequality and rising global unemployment will lead to “ rising social and political instability within nations – even war” over the next decade. Or over the next two weeks, whichever comes first.

Your Own Good:  The city council in Peoria, AZ wants to fingerprint every person buying OxyContin and Percocet (and similar drugs) and videotape every person who comes up to the prescription counter. Why do I suspect these city councilmen are anti-government Republicans?

The Cure:  Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche increased its net profits by 11% while its revenues dropped 3%. Can you say 'layoffs' and 'less research'?

Useful Lesson: In the great tradition of learning from letting Billy sit on the hot stove, reports keep coming in that the UK's path to prosperity through austerity is not working. So far the cure has resulted in a 2% drop in GDP, with more to come, as politicians will 'learn' that the austerity measures have not been austere enough.

On the Never-Never:  GM has increased its dealers on hand inventory by 30% in the last year. It is making far more cars than it is selling. And virtually all sales are of the “no money down” variety, many with money back financing that equals 120% of the value of the car. Non-revolving credit l(ike car loans) is the only consumer credit component that is growing. Wonder what the repo rate will be.

Justice vs Law: Ruling that the house's decrease in value was a direct result of “financial mispractice”, a Spanish court has canceled the balance owed on a mortgage, saying that surrendering the house to the bank was sufficient payment. Don't hold your breath.

Porn O'Graph:  It's a home, not an investment.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

Early in the Clinton administration, during the controversy over Hillary's health care proposal, my stepmother (a Republican, then and now, and of an age to already be a Medicare recipient) asked, innocently, "Why can't it be like Medicare? That works pretty well."

Why not indeed? The real reason, of course, is that not enough of the revenue stream goes into private pockets on its way to the doctors, hospitals, etc.

If common sense were to triumph, this would be the U.S. path to single payer.


Anonymous said...

RE: On the Never-Never

Can you spell Lucent!


OkieLawyer said...

Re: Magical Mystery Tour

The amount of CO2 from smokestacks (currently) would still be less than from tailpipes, I would venture to guess. If you have objective, fact-based evidence to the contrary, post it. I would like to see it.

And if all small delivery services switched over to electric vehicles that could be plugged in at night, the energy savings would add up.

OkieLawyer said...

From yesterday's Corporate Socialism Rule #4, here is my answer:

Social Security as a National Pension